CG's 20L- Getting back into the hobby - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 08-11-2016, 03:56 PM Thread Starter
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CG's 20L- Getting back into the hobby

Hi everyone,

It's been a long four years break from the aquarium hobby while I was an undergrad in college, and I'm ready to come back!

Equipment:
Aqueon 20 gallon long
Finnex planted+ 24/7 30"
Eheim 2217 w/ generic glass lily pipes
Hydor 200W in-line heater w/ Finnex Max-300 heater controller
DIY stand painted black

Substrate:
Black diamond blasting sand

Hardscape:
Sandblasted manzanita branches

Fertilizers:
EI package from NilocG
Osmocote+
Excel

Flora: (will update as I go)
Anubias nana petite
Crypt wendtii green
Crypt wendtii bronze
Crypt parva
Hygrophila difformis
Limnophila aromatica 'mini Vietnam'
Microsorum pteropus 'windelov'
Myriophyllum mattogrossense

Fauna: (still deciding)
Bolivian rams (would prefer Apistos but can't find any locally yet)
Tetras (leaning towards black neons)
Otocinclus
Nerites
Amano shrimp

I didn't take very many pictures during set up because I got caught up in it, but here are two cellphone quality pics:




My goal for this tank is to keep it low/med tech for simple maintenance. The 2217 is a bit overkill, but I prefer overfiltration and it was cheap on craigstlist. The 24/7 is running around 50-60% intensity for a split 7 hour photoperiod. I'm using about 1/3rd of the regular EI dosing regime and dosing Excel daily. I plan on sticking with SA fish, although the plants will be whatever I can keep alive. The tank is currently cycling, so it'll be awhile before I add fish.

Thanks for looking!
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Last edited by CobraGuppy; 10-13-2016 at 04:09 PM. Reason: updated plant list
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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 08-12-2016, 04:09 AM
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Nice wood, lol.
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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 08-15-2016, 03:05 PM Thread Starter
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Nice wood, lol.
Thanks I ended up using 7 branches of manzanita I think, out of the 40 or so I had.
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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 08-16-2016, 06:13 AM
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Looks like you've got a great start there.

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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 08-16-2016, 02:39 PM
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Great hardscape!
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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 08-17-2016, 12:58 AM Thread Starter
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Looks like you've got a great start there.
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Great hardscape!
Thank you! I recently added more plants to the tank from a nice plant package I got from Mikevwall as well as with some plants I have in a 10g betta tank. Updated plant list is in the first post.



Just seeing what I can keep alive; I'll re-scape as the tank becomes more established.
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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 08-23-2016, 09:55 PM
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Looks better already..nice triangle scape..


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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 08-23-2016, 09:58 PM
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And Mike is the best, isn't he? I got some awesome plants from him recently as well....


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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 08-23-2016, 10:20 PM
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omg your tank is soooooooooo purrrrtyyyyyy (so pretty) people (like you) have this amazing talent to aquascape, when I do it.... well I haven't done it so lol
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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-07-2016, 02:47 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks everyone! It's been awhile since I've updated this thread, and a lot has happened in almost two months. Here are some notable changes:

1. While I enjoyed the hardscape, I ended up removing a fair amount of the wood. BBA kept growing on it, especially near the tips, and I believe it was due to the wood being so close to the light.

2. I got fish! Current stocking:
2 blue rams
9 black neon tetras
5 otocinclus
1 baby bristlenose pleco
3 amano shrimp
1 zebra nerite snail

Casualties so far:
3 black neons - One due to ich, one due to camallanus worms, and the last one unknown because it was 2 weeks after I had finished treating for ich and camallanus worms, and my amanos picked it clean over night.
1 oto - Died one day after I got it in my quarantine tank with a huge, bloated belly.
1 amano - Found it dried up about 20 feet away from my aquarium. Those things can really crawl for awhile out of water..

3. A few days after I got my fish (everything except the otos which I got later on), I noticed ich spots on the black neons. I treated it by raising the water temp to 86 degrees for two weeks, and that seemed to cure it. Had an airstone in the tank the whole time to make sure it was still oxygenated. Some of my plants suffered, especially the rotala and blyxa which ended up melting away. Only lost a single black neon so I'm thankful it wasn't too bad.

4. A week into my ich treatment, I noticed camallanus worms on two of the black neons. I ordered Levamisole to treat the whole tank, but I had to wait until after my ich treatment because Levamisole should be dosed with a tank temp ~75 degrees to be effective. Lost another black neon due to the worms. Three weeks later, I just finished treating the tank a second time with Levamisole to ensure all the worms are dead.

5. My tank has a really oily film on top that the lily pipes can't handle. I also added frogbit, and it wasn't doing very well. I believe the film was clinging to the leaves, affecting their ability to stay above water, and eventually causing them to melt. I got an Eheim skim 350 and it works great! Added benefit is increased circulation in the tank.

Overall, I'm content with how the tank is chugging along! The filter is a beast and easily keeps up with the tank. I've cleaned it once since I set it up, and it wasn't too dirty. I mostly just switch out/rinse the filter floss every other week. Still dosing EI once a week and excel daily with 50-60% weekly water changes. Nitrate never gets above ~15-20ppm, and once the frogbit gets a stronger foothold, I suspect that number will drop. I really enjoy the black neons, and I think they're an underrated tetra. They are little piggies, while the rams are much shyer eaters. I feed my fish NLS thera-A, frozen blood worms, ken's premium tropical flakes, ken's veggie wafers, and zucchini. For such a long post though, I only have 2 phone pictures of my tanks about 1-2 weeks apart. It's almost like a game of spot the difference! I'll be borrowing my SO's DSLR next week to take some pictures, but the only setting I know how to use is automatic so we'll see how that goes. Hopefully I can get a few close ups of the fish though.



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post #11 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-07-2016, 03:03 PM
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I don't think that is the 30" 24/7. I have a 30" on a 20L and mine spans the entire tank.
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post #12 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-07-2016, 03:31 PM Thread Starter
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I don't think that is the 30" 24/7. I have a 30" on a 20L and mine spans the entire tank.
It's a 30" 24/7 It may just be the angle at which I take my pictures that makes the top corners look wider than the fixture itself. I'm gone from my apartment for the weekend, but I can take some pictures from a more top-down view next week!
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post #13 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-08-2016, 08:51 AM
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I really like the aquascape you created: plenty of plants, but still lots of swimming room.

It's a shame you had such a disease/parasite problem out of the gate. It makes me wonder if your supplier had unhealthy conditions.

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post #14 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-12-2016, 05:27 AM Thread Starter
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I really like the aquascape you created: plenty of plants, but still lots of swimming room.

It's a shame you had such a disease/parasite problem out of the gate. It makes me wonder if your supplier had unhealthy conditions.
Thank you! That's what I was going for. I'm hoping eventually half the tank along the diagonal will be crowded with plants for a jungle-y feeling while the other half is open so the fish can swim in front as well. Regarding all the diseases, yeah I suspect it's due to the supplier. Everything started 1-2 weeks after I got the fish, and there have been no problems since. It's a good reason why everyone should always quarantine new fish!

I came home the other day to find out that all the power in my apartment complex was out due to downed trees on power lines caused by Hurricane Matthew. It was out since Saturday afternoon, and was finally restored Monday evening. Thankfully, none of my fish died. I was most worried for the rams because the temperature dipped under 70 degrees for awhile, and they were the most pale/sluggish looking out of all my fish. Everyone has recovered, however, and I took some photos so I'll be posting those soon.
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post #15 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-13-2016, 04:23 PM Thread Starter
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Top down picture of my tank. The black curved piece of foam is to prevent the frogbit from getting blown around around the tank by the lily pipe. I haven't found a nice way to contain the frogbit where I want it yet. Future plans are to remove the wisteria on the left side of the tank, fill up the middle section of the tank with something between the two stands of crypts and java ferns, and clean the intake lily pipe..


Water wisteria doing well! It grows like a weed.


Some new crypts I got about two weeks ago. Some of the outer leaves are melting, which is expected, and the two day power outage didn't seem to help.


Section of Crypt Parva. These things sure grow slowly. On the dw you can see my nerite's eggs which I haven't gotten around to removing yet.


Amano shrimp chilling on a windelov fern leaf


My biggest oto! Hard to get a sense of scale, but its the biggest one I've ever seen in person.


Three of the 9 black neons


The best picture I could get of my female ram. The male is much more camera shy. As is the bristlenose pleco.


Thanks for looking
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